90% Positive Reviews For Phoebe’s Journey

90% Positive Reviews For Phoebe’s Journey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 20, 2017 | St. Louis, MO 63124

Visit www.phoebesjourneys.com for contact details, review copies, photos, and an author bio.

New Historical Novel Brings First-Century Christianity To Life

Richly-Imagined Backstory of Phoebe–Paul’s Emissary To The Romans

Phoebe’s Journey Part 1: Of Passion And Pride Debuts To 90% Positive Reviews

One of the best-loved books in the Bible holds a mystery. While working in Corinth, the Apostle Paul penned his letter to the Romans. Paul chose a woman named Phoebe to hand-carry his letter to the church in Rome. In Romans, Chapter 16, Phoebe’s name is at the head of a long list of noble workers Paul praises for their service. “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deacon in the church in Cenchrea. Welcome her in the Lord as one who is worthy of honor among God’s people. Help her in whatever she needs, for she has been helpful to many and especially to me.”

Who is Phoebe? Why did Paul choose this woman to deliver his precious letter? And why would Phoebe volunteer to make a nearly 1000-mile, sometimes harrowing, always dangerous, journey from her home in Cenchrea, Greece to Rome?

The fictionalized Phoebe’s Journey series delves into these questions, coupling extensive research with believable characters and circumstances. From the mariners to the merchants, from the synagogue leaders to the `Corinthian girls,’ first-century Greece comes alive in this richly imagined backstory of the woman Paul called “worthy of honor among God’s people,” and chose as his emissary to Rome.

Phoebe’s Journey Part 1, Of Passion And Pride, has just been released and is capturing the hearts of its early readers. From young adult readers to seasoned theologians, Phoebe’s Journey is getting 90% positive reviews*:

“This story has drama, intrigue, betrayal, tragedy and romance. It was well written and I was anxious to keep reading to find out what happens to Phoebe, her family and friends.”

“The author does a wonderful job of merging first century history and culture into the story of how this young girl would become prominent to deserve a mention in Scripture.”

“This book had me in tears towards the end and has opened my eyes to areas of development needed in my own faith. I cannot wait to read part two.”

“This intriguing story is personal and real…”

“As a seminary student and minister who occasionally preaches and teaches, I normally find myself rooted in the world of textual studies and non-fiction. Although this first installment of Collett’s trilogy falls under `Christian fiction,’ it is apparent from the first chapter the breadth and depth of historical studies that lay the foundation for this captivating 1st century story and its various historical characters, settings, and plots. With the aid of the character glossary to keep the relationships between the characters clear, I found myself engrossed in the lives of multiple major and minor characters and cheering both for and against them. The most impactful element of this narrative on me was the way it imagined the lives of Paul and Phoebe, two biblical characters we know very much and very little about, respectively. I eagerly anticipate the next two installments and will be rooting Phoebe on to Rome the whole way!”

Author Kathryn Collett’s love of the Bible and her curiosity to know more about the story behind the story led her to write Phoebe’s Journey Part 1: Of Passion And Pride.

“Great storytelling is the thread that connects generations. No matter the time period, the challenges of humanity remain the same. Love, jealousies, the quest for power, sin, redemption, family struggles, the list goes on—the issues we face today are timeless and universal,” said Collett.

“From an early age I’ve been fascinated with books that transport me to another time and place. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House On the Prairie series, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, Esther Forbes’ Johnny Tremain, Willa Cather’s O Pioneers! and My Antonia, are a few of the books that had a lasting impact on me. Those stories made people and places real to me, even though their life’s circumstances were vastly different from mine. I learned valuable lessons from those books. I believe Christian historical fiction can have the same impact on readers today.”

Phoebe’s Journey Part 1: Of Passion And Pride is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, and Smashwords. If you’d like to order copies of the book for your church, school, book club, or study group, contact the author at Kathryn@PhoebesJourneys.com. To receive free bonus materials, such as a discussion guide, and updates on the author’s future projects, visit the Phoebe’s Journey website. You can also follow the author on her Goodreads and Amazon pages.

Phoebe’s Journey Reviews Coming In!

Phoebe’s Journey Reviews Coming In!

Another 5 star review on Amazon!

I was intrigued by the concept of this book, I have read the book of Romans and heard it read in Church many times but could not remember Phoebe being mentioned, I have read Paul ‘s letters to the church in Corinth also many a time, so was interested in how this new author to me would go about building and telling her story.

I was surprised how quickly I got sucked into the lives of Phoebe, her family, friends and enemies, I felt like I knew them and was going through everything with them. In amongst the story of Phoebe you get to meet Paul the Apostle and see things through his eyes and experience the development of the new church of Christians, some who worship in secret and some who are brave and worship in the open.

This book had me in tears towards the end and has opened my eyes to areas of development needed in my own faith. I cannot wait to read part two and I will definitely be reading this again!

Have you read the book? Have you left a review?

 

 

Phoebe’s Journey Readers Are Weighing In:

Phoebe’s Journey Readers Are Weighing In:

Here’s a new review that was just posted on my Facebook page.

 

Just finished reading Phoebe’s Journey. Easy read. Loved the book. Can’t wait for the next one to come out. I would love to have a discussion guide. Thank you Kathy for all the time, work, and talent it took to put such a good book together for us.

That’s great motivation while I work on the outline for  Phoebe’s Journey Part 2.

If you would like a free discussion guide, email me at Kathryn@phoebejourneys.com

Be sure to click here to like our Facebook page, too!

New Review

New Review

We’re starting to hear from readers and the reviews for Part 1 of Phoebe’s Journey are very encouraging. Check this out from Goodreads:

As a seminary student and minister who occasionally preaches and teaches, I normally find myself rooted in the world of textual studies and non-fiction. Although this first installment of Collett’s trilogy falls under “Christian fiction,” it is apparent from the first chapter the breadth and depth of historical studies that lay the foundation for this captivating 1st century story and its various historical characters, settings, and plots. With the aid of the character glossary to keep the relationships between the characters clear, I found myself engrossed in the lives of multiple major and minor characters and cheering both for and against them. The most impactful element of this narrative on me was the way it imagined the lives of Paul and Phoebe, two biblical characters we know very much and very little about, respectively. I eagerly anticipate the next two installments and will be rooting Phoebe on to Rome the whole way!

Thank you for taking time to read Phoebe’s Journey and leaving a review. ALL reviews are welcome!

The Apostle Paul’s Advice

The Apostle Paul’s Advice

There’s a section in Part 1 of Phoebe’s Journey when Nicholas, one of the primary characters, meets with Paul. There meeting takes place after the Apostle has been brought before the Roman authorities following a complaint by the Jewish synagogue leaders. Paul tells the young man that he ran into his father that day and chuckles as he says, “He was there under more fortunate circumstances than me, I’ll admit.”

Nicholas asks, “You can laugh at being hauled before the Proconsul?”

And the Apostle Paul responds, “I take it seriously, Nicholas. But I understand the leaders of the synagogue are threatened by the message I’m bringing on behalf of the Messiah. They are the ones to be worried. I’ve been in their place. Their world is changing and their hearts are not open yet. With the Lord’s help, I am determined to be patient with them.”

A wise reader sent this comment to me about this exchange between Paul and Nicholas:

It fits very well [when considering] all the changes that have happened in the church during our lifetime. The message of Romans is acceptance and that requires us to have time for our hearts to be opened as well as the hearts of the ones promoting the change. It gives both of us time to evaluate the change to see if it violates scripture or if He challenges our comfort zone.

I have thought about this all day long. When it comes to change–which is rarely easy–how often have we witnessed change agents overstep their bounds in their zeal to bring that change about? And, on the other hand, how often do we witness those who are change-averse dig their heels in and put the brakes on, before they ever even hear the other side out?

This reader is so correct to remind us that practicing acceptance, and opening our hearts, will encourage us to find common ground.

The Apostle Paul’s Crown That Would Not Last

The Apostle Paul’s Crown That Would Not Last

The Isthmian Games are very prominent in Phoebe’s Journey Part 1: Of Passion And Pride. Historical records tell us they probably started in the 6th century BC, took place every two years in the Corinth area, and alternated with the other three Panhellenic games. Most likely these games are part of the reason the Apostle Paul, Priscilla and her husband Aquila, set up their tent-making enterprise in Corinth.

The Isthmian Games focused primarily on combat sports. The other three Panhellenic games (Olympics, Pythian, and Nemean) included running sports, as well as combat sports.

Here are the events we know occurred during the Isthmian Games:

  • Greek boxing
  • Greek wrestling
  • Pankration [A brutal combat sport with few rules]
  • Chariot racing

Victors at the festival were awarded a crown of celery. When Greece became part of the Roman Empire, the crown changed Isthmian_Games; Crown; Apostle_Paulfrom celery to laurel leaves. Eventually, the laurel wreath became a symbol of accomplishment and distinction. The expression “resting on one’s laurels” refers to someone relying on past successes for continued recognition. At some universities the laurel wreath is used as a symbol of the master’s degree. The word laureate in poet laureate refers to the laurel wreath. Even the Boy Scouts have borrowed from the Isthmian tradition and put a wreath of service on their patches as a symbol of service. 

When the Apostle Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians, he knew the Christians reading it would understand his reference to the crown awarded at the Isthmian Games:

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

1 Corinthians 9:25

 

 


Reading Fever

Reading Fever

I read about 75 books every year. Reading is an addiction for me. I am in a monthly book club at our public library. Over the last few summers I’ve been reading books on the Time 100 Greatest Novels. I read memoirs, biographies (particularly Presidential biographies), best sellers, fiction, non-fiction. You name it, I read it.

People like me are lucky to be living in 2017. During the 1700s, when novels first became readily available, many prominent pundits were concerned that people were reading too much. They were especially concerned about young women. They dubbed this ailment “reading rage,” “reading fever,” “reading mania,” or “reading lust.” Oh my. Please tell me there’s no cure.

Rich Man, Poor Man

Rich Man, Poor Man

After Corinth was rebuilt by Caesar in 44 BC as a Roman colony, people from throughout the empire began to to settle there in droves, including a large number of freed slaves. Because of Corinth’s geographical position it quickly grew into a valuable trade center. Land travelers from throughout Greece had to pass through the city on most southern routes, plus with two nearby ports it was a huge shipping center. Tourism was also a big industry for Corinth. Every two years Corinth hosted the Isthmian Games–similar in size and scope to the Olympics.

All of this meant that Corinth grew very quickly from a backwater town to the third largest city in the Roman Empire. Corinth went from very poor, to very rich. Some of its top officials were children of former slaves who had earned their freedom and come into money. In Phoebe’s Journey, Phoebe’s mother and father are both freed slaves. Miklos builds his shipping agency to be the largest in the region.

But not everyone benefitted from the growth and the booming economy. Like many cities that grow quickly, huge swaths of people were left behind by the more successful. Corinth became a city with a wide disparity between rich and poor.

Corinth was also a city known for its wild living. It had more than three temples devoted to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, desire, and beauty. The city’s worship of Aphrodite coupled with the large numbers of sailors and itinerant travelers led Corinth to become so known for its promiscuity that its name became slang. “To act like a Corinthian,” was to be drunk. “To play like a Corinthian,” was another way of talking about sex.

Prosperity, tourism, pride, promiscuous culture…it’s easy to see why at least one Biblical  scholar has called Corinth, “at once the New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas of the ancient world.”

National Booklovers Day

National Booklovers Day

How fun that on National Booklovers day the first big box of Phoebe’s Journey books arrived. They’re hot off the presses and ready to be distributed to everyone who preordered them. If you didn’t pre-order your copy, you can get it from Amazon, Apple books, B&N, and Smashwords. Here’s a link to Amazon:

 

 

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